Greetings from a Radisson Hotel near the airport in Portland. It's nothing you'd want in a hotel, yet everything you'd want in a hotel. It will win no hotel awards. No one famous will ever want to stay here. Its design would appeal to every focus group, and therefore to no individual, for no color can offend, no texture can titillate, no edge can bump the unassuming knee.
It's perfunctory. Banal. Mundane.
And yet, this is where I've been looking forward to being all week.
Here's the thing. I've been wanting to post something (or better yet, write something worth posting) since I've been home. But I've been crazy busy with work and catching up on life and having friends and being normal and nothing has seemed important enough to write about. I'm not chasing cockroaches off my bed or having motorbike adventures on steep island roads, you know? I'm just riding MUNI, trying to work out more and catch up with all the people I deeply missed while I was away. Every time I've sat down to blog, I've been faced with a big, blank screen and a bigger question: what the heck am I supposed to write about now? You know, if it's not trip updates, travel how tos, or essays about my conflicting desires of wanderlust and building roots? (Seriously, if you have any ideas, I'm all ears.)
I've been thinking I should just start to write about other things I care about, like how people have lost the art of having lunch, or the power of saying no, or why so much modern design irritates me because it's trying too hard, or any of the other dozen thoughts that rumble through my brain on a daily basis. But I sit down and stare at the white blank void and peck out a few sentences before losing all motivation and deciding to, like, make a carrot cake from scratch instead. (True story.)
So here I am. Here in Portland, a city I've barely been to before and am really looking forward to checking out. (I've passed through Portland as a kid on various road trips through Oregon; I don't think that counts?) One of the things I've been looking forward to most about this getaway, aside from catching up with a few friends while I'm here, is having the chance to write a bit. It's one of things I actually loved the most about my time alone meandering around Southeast Asia. Yeah, yeah, I loved oohing at temples and aahing at cheap foot massages, but some of the most meaningful time for me was spent hammering out words in a clean hotel room or a buzzing café, even if those words were just part of some long-winded update about horrible minibus journeys. And now, being back in SF and having thrown myself head first into work and life (I tend to go a bit overboard), I miss it.
So tomorrow morning, I'll get up. I'll make a coffee. Order room service. I'll open my iPad, and I'll be transported to one of my happiest places: me, alone, putting my thoughts into words and my words out into the Internet.
And there's nowhere I'd rather be.